Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academics at Albion College

Introduction & Curriculum Overview

At the heart of the Albion Experience is an intellectually stimulating commitment to the liberal arts. Albion’s core curriculum is a program of learning that is initiated with the First-Year Seminar and culminates with the conferring of the bachelor’s degree. Students begin their academic careers in a First-Year Seminar designed to familiarize them with the liberal arts tradition in an intimate classroom environment that fosters open communication, nurtures critical thinking, and promotes improvement in writing and speaking. Albion is committed to having students complete their undergraduate education with an experience that brings continuity, coherence and focus to their academic course work and that involves the students themselves, soon-to-be graduates, as teachers, facilitators and presenters.

Between the First-Year Seminar and graduation, students complete other core courses: five Modes of Inquiry courses and four category requirements. These courses provide analytic tools for understanding the world, offer rich and complex accounts of social life, encourage examination of these accounts, and contribute to a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of learning and living in a global community. In addition, courses are distributed across the four divisions of the College: fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. The liberal arts core serves as the impetus and context for lifelong learning, preparing students for the phase after college when they must themselves provide education and expertise as well as continue to learn, collaborate, and facilitate at home, at work, and in a local and global community.

In addition to the core curriculum, all students are required to complete a major, which provides a depth of intellectual study that prepares students for graduate and professional school, as well as for a rich diversity of careers and life experiences. These majors may be a conventional departmental major, a not-so-conventional interdepartmental major or the unconventional individually designed major. A commitment to academic excellence within all academic departments ensures every student that fulfilling the requirements of the major will be a comprehensive and challenging scholarly experience. Other opportunities for in-depth exploration and clustering of courses include minors and concentrations.

Choice characterizes the general education requirements as well as the major. Each Albion student is an adult, capable of making sensible decisions about his or her personal future. But inherent in the right to make decisions is the potential to make mistakes. So Albion College provides assistance to students in planning their education. During their first year at Albion College, academic advisers are assigned to all students to monitor academic progress and help each student begin fulfilling his or her graduation requirements. After the first year, students are free to choose a faculty adviser who will help develop a program of study based on the student’s goals. Students who do not meet with their adviser during each semester’s academic advising period will not be allowed to register until they have proof of advising.

It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to be aware of and fulfill all graduation requirements. To assist students in this endeavor, the Registrar’s Office prepares and maintains an audit for each student at the end of the sophomore year. These reports indicate progress toward completing graduation requirements. Students are provided with updated audits prior to each fall semester. Audits are available from the student’s adviser or directly through the Registrar’s Office.

Curriculum Overview

The primary responsibility for meeting the College’s academic requirements rests with each student. This chart serves as a guide to the required and elective courses that fulfill the units needed for graduation. They are explained in greater detail on the following pages. The complete requirements for graduation are outlined in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Core Requirement

I. Liberal Arts 101 (First-Year Seminar; 1 unit)

II. Modes of Inquiry (1 unit in each)

Artistic Creation and Analysis
Historical and Cultural Analysis
Modeling and Analysis
Scientific Analysis
Textual Analysis

III. Category Requirements (1 unit in each)

Environmental Studies
Ethnicity Studies
Gender Studies
Global Studies

The Brown Honors Program core requirements are found in the Programs of Study section.

Units for Core: 10

Among the 32 units required for graduation, the following distribution of courses must also be fulfilled. These courses can count toward modes, categories, majors, minors and/or concentrations.

  • Two units in humanities (can be from same department): English, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Honors
  • Two units in mathematics or natural sciences (can be from same department): Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Honors
  • Two units in social science (can be from same department): Anthropology and Sociology, Communication Studies, Economics and Management, History, Political Science, Psychology, Honors
  • One unit in fine arts: Art and Art History, Music (including up to four 1/4-unit music ensembles), Theatre, Honors
Major Requirement: All students are required to complete an approved major.

Anthropology and Sociology
Art (Studio Art)
Art History
Communication Studies

Computer Science
Earth Science
Economics and Management
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Exercise Science
Geological Sciences
Individually Designed Major
International Studies

Integrated Marketing Communications

Marketing Management
Political Science
Public Policy
Religious Studies
Sustainability Studies
Women’s and Gender Studies

Units for Major: 8-10

Minors: Students may choose to complete a minor.
Departmental and Interdisciplinary Minors




Art, Art History


Cell and Molecular Biology
Environmental Biology

Business and Organizations
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Economics and Management

Accounting—Corporate Track, Economics, Finance, Management


Educational Studies

Foreign Language

French, German, Spanish

Gender Studies
Geological Sciences

Geology, Environmental Geology, Geographic Information Systems, Paleontology


Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics


Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Value Theory

Political Science
Religious Studies

Sociology, Anthropology/Sociology

Women’s Studies

Concentrations: Students may also choose to complete a concentration designed to prepare them for specific careers. Some of these concentrations are linked to the College’s Institutes and Centers, and, in these cases, students must be admitted to the respective Institute or Center to participate fully in its curriculum. The available concentrations are listed below.

Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Human Services
Law, Justice, and Society
Public Policy and Service

Institutes, Centers, Programs

Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management
Institute for Healthcare Professions
Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development

General Electives: Electives are courses that do not count toward a specific program (such as a major) but contribute toward the total units needed for graduation.

Units for Electives: 12-14

Writing Proficiency Requirement: All students must also pass the writing proficiency requirement before they graduate.

Total Units for Graduation: 32

The Core Requirement

At Albion, the general education requirement is referred to as “the core.” Students begin to fulfill the core in their first semester with Liberal Arts 101; some will be able to complete much of the core requirement by the end of their first year.

  1. Liberal Arts 101 (First-Year Seminar; 1 unit)
  2. Modes of Inquiry (1 unit in each)
    Textual Analysis
    Artistic Creation and Analysis
    Scientific Analysis
    Modeling and Analysis
    Historical and Cultural Analysis
  3. Category Requirements (1 unit in each)
    Environmental Studies
    Ethnicity Studies
    Gender Studies
    Global Studies

Students must also complete a distribution as follows: one unit in fine arts (art and art history, music, theatre, honors), two units in humanities (English, foreign languages, philosophy, religious studies, honors), two units in mathematics or natural sciences (biology, chemistry, computer science, geological sciences, mathematics, physics, honors) and two units in social science (anthropology and sociology, economics and management, history, political science, psychology, speech communication, honors).

  1. Liberal Arts 101: First-Year Seminars
    The First-Year Seminars are distinguished by their small class size and close personal attention. Students select from a wide variety of seminars in which academic skills, creativity, active inquiry and collegiality are nurtured. Seminars introduce first-year students to college life by focusing on the process of learning, in and out of the classroom. Seminars share a common weekly community meeting that emphasizes student academic and social transitions. In addition, the First-Year Seminars foster co-curricular outreach. First-Year Seminars have the following characteristics.
    1. They are inquiry-based, writing-intensive, focused on developing critical thinking skills, and they emphasize discussion.
    2. They are as interdisciplinary as possible, exploring multiple modes of inquiry.
    3. They nurture creativity in all forms.
    4. They encourage community-building and outreach as well as co-curricular experiences.
  2. The Modes of Inquiry
    The Modes of Inquiry core requirement reflects the awareness that there are several fundamental types of analysis that scholars use to understand the world. All Albion College courses require students to employ analytical and creative tools while completing course assignments. A Mode course, however, requires both professor and student to approach the teaching and thinking process with a significantly higher level of self-awareness and intentionality. Students are required not only to think, but also to think about their thinking.

Textual Analysis

Analyzing a text (including works of art and music, written and oral texts, and rituals and symbols) involves understanding not only what meaning that text holds but also how those meanings are produced, what purposes they serve, and what effects they have, as well as exploring the ways in which a text conveys meaning. In order to fulfill this mode of inquiry, courses must:

  1. Focus on the methods of analysis employed by at least one specific discipline or area of scholarship;
  2. Foster inquiry into the particular strengths and weaknesses of those methods;
  3. Require students to analyze texts in writing;
  4. Foster inquiry into the intellectual or cultural systems that produce the text’s meaning and effects.

Artistic Creation and Analysis

Courses in this mode focus on the uniquely symbolic and expressive way in which the arts explore and express ideas and feelings. In order to fulfill this mode of inquiry, courses must:

  1. Require the creation or performance, and the analysis of works of art;
  2. Work with culturally produced rather than naturally occurring objects or experiences that have artistic, social or historical significance (for example, art objects, works of literature or various types of performances);
  3. Introduce appropriate forms of critical inquiry and analysis, including area-specific vocabularies, materials, techniques and/or methodologies;
  4. Encourage students to become critical and introspective about their cultural experiences;
  5. Focus on the methods and materials by which the work produces meaning as well as what meanings are to be produced, emphasizing the dialogue between form and content in the area of study

Scientific Analysis

Courses in this mode involve the observation and interpretation of the natural world. In order to fulfill this mode of inquiry, courses must:

  1. Explore the subject matter and methodology of one or more of the natural sciences;
  2. Demonstrate how fundamental principles of these disciplines form the basis for deriving specific results;
  3. Require students to make observations and formulate hypotheses to explain their observations;
  4. Require students to test their hypotheses or other scientific theories to appreciate their strengths and weaknesses;
  5. Demonstrate applications to human society and the natural world;
  6. Include a laboratory as a significant component of the course.

Historical and Cultural Analysis

Courses in this mode focus on how human knowledge is determined by its cultural and historical context, and how this knowledge in turn shapes cultures and creates historical change. In order to fulfill this mode of inquiry, courses must:

  1. Include material significantly removed from the students’ experience either by virtue of cultural or historical distance;
  2. Direct students to investigate their own cultural and historical moment from a perspective informed by their study of culture or history;
  3. Require students to explore the specific cultural context of artifacts, to the extent that the course covers artifacts of a different culture or from a different historical period.

Modeling and Analysis 

Courses in this mode derive some essential or simplified features from logical, physical, social or biological phenomena, and describe and interpret them within an analytical framework. In order to fulfill this mode of inquiry, courses must:

  1. Explore logical, physical, social or biological phenomena;
  2. Enable students to decide which features of the phenomena to describe and what simplifying assumptions to make;
  3. Derive predictions from the model and interpret them in the original context;
  4. Consider the usefulness and the limits of the model and compare it with other possible models.

Category Requirements

A liberal arts education prepares students to play a critical, thoughtful role as citizens in their society. Courses in environmental, ethnicity, gender and global studies deepen students’ understanding of themselves, society and the world by introducing them to many different perspectives. To this end, all students are required to take one unit each in environmental studies, ethnicity studies, gender studies and global studies as specified below.

Environmental Studies

Students are required to take one unit from the list of courses approved as satisfying the ethnicity studies requirement (see www.albion.edu/registrar/). Many of these courses also will satisfy a requirement in a major, in a program or in a concentration. Each approved course meets the following criteria:

  1. It must substantially enhance students’ understanding of the earth’s environment.
  2. It must deal substantially with the consequences of human intervention into natural systems.
  3. It must lead students to view the relationship among elements of environmental systems from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  4. It must focus on the perspectives that environmental studies brings to the discipline.

Ethnicity Studies

Students are required to take one unit from the list of courses approved as satisfying the ethnicity studies requirement (see www.albion.edu/registrar/). Many of these courses also will satisfy a requirement in a major, in a program or in a concentration. Each approved course meets the following criteria:

  1. It must foster inquiry into the cultural construction of ethnicity.
  2. It must focus on the perspectives that ethnicity brings to the discipline.
  3. It must place the issues of ethnicity in their historical context. This may include the rediscovery of marginalized texts.
  4. It must provide students with the opportunity to examine their own experiences with ethnicity.

Gender Studies

Students are required to take one unit from the list of courses approved as satisfying the gender studies requirement (see www.albion.edu/registrar/). Many of these courses also will satisfy a requirement in a major, in a program or in a concentration. Each approved course meets the following criteria:

  1. It must foster inquiry into the cultural construction of gender.
  2. It must focus on the perspectives that gender brings to the discipline.
  3. It must place the issues of gender in their historical context. This may include the rediscovery of marginalized texts.

Global Studies

Students have two options in fulfilling this category. (1) They may successfully participate in any approved off-campus study program outside of the United States (or the Border Studies Program) for at least one semester and submit a journal reflecting on their experiences. Detailed journal requirements are available at the Center for International Education. International students may fulfill the global category by submitting a journal, subject to the same requirements, reflecting on their experiences at Albion. (2) They may take one unit from the list of courses approved as satisfying the global studies requirement (see www.albion.edu/registrar/). Many of these courses also will satisfy a requirement in a major, in a program or in a concentration. Each approved course meets the following criteria:

  1. It must have as an organizing focus topics that are international (focusing on a particular region) or global (focusing on an issue pertaining to multiple regions or countries).
  2. It must foster inquiry into the interconnectedness of international issues and students’ lives.
  3. It should attempt to bring the world into the classroom so that students learn how to function in an international environment and gain a deeper understanding of the world outside the United States.

The Writing Proficiency Requirement

C&RC has approved revisions to the Writing Proficiency Requirement as follows:

College Writing Proficiency Requirement
Continuous development as a writer is a central part of a liberal arts education. All first-year students and new transfer students are required to take a written placement examination during orientation. The majority of students are placed into and encouraged to enroll in English 101, College Writing. Some students will be invited to enroll in English 101H, the honors section of College Writing. English 101 and 101H serve as prerequisites for all other English Department writing courses.

Those students who are placed into English 100, Writing Essentials must complete the class during their first full semester at Albion. A student placed into English 100 may drop or withdraw from the course only if diagnostic testing done the first week of class alters the student’s placement. The class must be taken for a numerical grade.

Each year, a few students place out of first-year writing classes. During the sophomore year, these students may enroll in 200-level English Department writing classes.

In order to graduate from Albion, all students must demonstrate college writing proficiency by fulfilling one of the following requirements:

  1.  receive a 5 on the Advanced Placement Test in English Language and Composition;
  2.  receive a 5 or higher on one of the International Baccalaureate higher level English tests;
  3.  complete English 101, College Writing, or English 101H, College Writing Honors, at Albion College with a grade of 3.0 or above;
  4.  transfer a writing course that counts as English 101 at Albion College with a grade of 3.0 or above;
  5. ​ pass the Writing Competence Examination (see details below). 

Students are encouraged to enroll in English 101 or 101H early in their college careers in order to practice and improve college writing as a means to support their learning across the liberal arts curriculum and to fulfill the college writing proficiency requirement.

Students who have completed 14 units or more, but who have not fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement will be required to register for classes in subsequent semesters with the sophomore class.

Transfer students who have completed 14 units or more (including transfer courses) will be expected to have completed the writing proficiency requirement before the start of their third semester at Albion College. If the writing proficiency requirement has not been fulfilled by the start of the third semester, the students will be required to register for classes in subsequent semesters with the sophomore class.

Exceptions to the class registration hold (delay) may be made for students who have been working regularly with the Director of Writing and are making progress toward fulfilling the writing proficiency requirement.

No student may receive a degree from Albion College without fulfilling the writing proficiency requirement.

Writing Competence Examination
Upon reaching sophomore status, any student who has not yet fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement as indicated above will be automatically registered for and required to take the Writing Competence Examination (WCE) during their sophomore year. Sophomores who do not pass on their first attempt—and have not fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement otherwise—will be automatically registered for and required to take the WCE again no later than the following semester.

Upon a second WCE failure, students must contact the Director of Writing and schedule a meeting to review their writing. After this consultation, the Director of Writing will require students to participate in appropriate writing practice, which may include tutoring and/or mandatory enrollment in English 101 as part of the writing proficiency requirement. Students must complete the assigned writing practice prior to attempting the examination again.

The WCE will be scheduled at least six times each academic year, and no special arrangements will be made for seniors who have not passed by the last examination.

Class Registration Hold
Students who have not yet fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement—and are not currently enrolled in ENGL 101 to fulfill the requirement—will not be permitted to complete class registration for the following semester if either of the following circumstances apply:

  • Students have twice taken and failed the WCE
  • Students have twice failed to take the WCE for which they were registered (includes self-registration and mandatory sophomore registration)

Students will be notified of the class registration hold on their account by the Registrar’s office (via email, with a copy to the students’ academic adviser). These notifications will be sent following each WCE during the semester, and at the beginning of each semester.

In order for the class registration hold to be removed, students must take appropriate actions as described in the writing proficiency requirement policies above: specifically, students who have twice taken and failed the WCE must contact and meet with the Director of Writing to review their writing, then participate in writing practice as determined by the Director; students who have twice failed to take the WCE for which they are registered must sign up and take the WCE at their earliest opportunity. These actions must be completed prior to the end of classes for the current semester.

After students complete the appropriate actions for their particular circumstances, the Director of Writing will notify the Registrar’s office and the registration hold will be removed so that students can register for classes.

The Major Requirement

The major requirement represents learning mastery in an area of specialization. Majors are possible in three separate areas—the departmental major, the interdepartmental or interdisciplinary major and the individually designed major.

Departmental majors include a maximum of 10 required units in an academic department as well as possible cognates within other areas. A student may declare two majors. Interdepartmental majors and interdisciplinary majors, with a maximum of 10 required units of course work plus cognates, are also offered.

Detailed requirements for all of the majors listed above appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major (IDIM)

The individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM) allows freedom of choice. Under this program, students have created their own majors in such fields as arts administration, cognitive science, Latin American studies, political economy, twentieth-century social philosophy, and public health.

A student desiring to propose an individually designed interdepartmental major has usually determined that certain combinations of courses from a variety of departments on the Albion campus will best fulfill his/her career goals. In many instances, that student’s career training will primarily focus on the offerings of one department, or one faculty member, who is most knowledgeable in that career area.

  1. The student should propose his/her ideas to a faculty member in the appropriate department for discussion and clarification. The faculty member should be willing to serve as the major adviser.
  2. IDIM proposals must be submitted before the student attains 25 units.
  3. The student and the major adviser should work together in selecting other faculty members who might be included on the student’s major committee. The student should then enlist two of these faculty members to serve, with the major advisor, on the major committee. At least one member of the major committee shall be from outside the major adviser’s department. If, for any reason, the membership of the major committee is altered, the student is responsible for securing replacements as well as for notifying the provost and the registrar of the change.
  4. The major committee and the student shall then design in detail the nature of the curriculum to be followed for the IDIM. Individually designed interdepartmental majors must include: a minimum of eight units of course work and one unit of directed study whose purpose shall be to demonstrate the student’s ability to perform independent scholarship or creative activity appropriate to the student’s particular program. Typically, the student’s major adviser will supervise the directed study. IDIM programs must be a minimum of nine units, including the directed study, and may not exceed 12 units.
  5. A student may not have completed more than half of the IDIM program prior to submission of the IDIM proposal.
  6. Before beginning the individualized program of study, the student must secure the unanimous approval of the major committee. The student should then submit the form to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will then send the form to the provost for approval. The student should include a proposal of the directed study which should show the role of the directed study in supporting the unique aspect of the IDIM and should be signed by the faculty member who will direct the proposed study. The provost will provide copies of the IDIM to the student, the major adviser and the registrar. A copy of the approved program and any subsequent approved changes will be kept on file with the registrar.
  7. To revise an IDIM, the student must submit a new IDIM application with the changes in the program noted to the Registrar’s Office. All of the changes to the IDIM must be approved by the entire major committee and the provost. The student must also file an explanation for the change in the original IDIM.

Detailed regulations and forms for filing an individually designed major are available from the Registrar’s Office.

The Minor Option

In addition to their major, students have the option of choosing a minor in a different area of specialization. Most academic departments offer at least one minor; specific requirements for the various minors are available from the departments.

Requirements in minors for students pursuing teacher certification are available from the Education Department. (Academic departmental minor requirements and the teaching departmental minor requirements may vary; students must contact the Education Department regarding specific requirements.)

Interdepartmental minors are also an option, offered through the cooperation of several academic departments. Students having specific questions regarding these minors should contact the Registrar’s Office.

The First-Year Experience

The William Atwell Brown, Jr., and Mary Brown Vacin First-Year Experience assists students in making the transition from high school to college. Through a broad array of academic and co-curricular programs, the First-Year Experience provides a foundation for students that will sustain them throughout their undergraduate years and that will enable them to achieve their academic and personal goals. The principal features of the program are described below.

Academic and General Advising

The advising process begins during new student orientation and continues in periodic meetings with faculty advisers and Student Development staff during the first year.

First-Year Seminar (LA 101)

Designed to introduce entering students to the liberal arts tradition, the First-Year Seminars nurture academic skills, creativity and active inquiry. Small class sizes ensure constant interaction among faculty and students. The seminars often address cutting-edge topics, and most include research projects or other hands-on learning experiences. Some feature an extended field trip, to a location in the U.S. or overseas, to give students a firsthand look at the issues they are studying.

Recent seminar topics have included: Genes and Society, Justice, Art in the Environment, Water: Science and Policy, the Holocaust, and Albion and the American Dream. The class schedule, available at www.albion.edu/registrar/, lists the seminars offered for the current academic year.

Richard M. Smith Common Reading Experience

In the Richard M. Smith Common Reading Experience, students and faculty discuss a book and/or other academic works they have read during the preceding summer or at the beginning of fall semester. Past Common Reading Experience selections have included Tamim Ansary’s West of Kabul, East of New York, Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The Richard M. Smith Common Reading Experience is designed to establish the ideas of scholarship, critical thinking and academic expectations through a common learning experience, and begin student understanding of differences and cross-cultural issues in the context of the Albion College community.

Academic Planning

Throughout their four years at Albion, students are encouraged to think about their career and personal goals, as well as the academic experiences that will enable them to reach those goals. After completing a self-assessment, students create a digital portfolio, which will eventually reflect their academic achievements; internship, research and other practical experiences; leadership accomplishments; and community service. Students utilize self-assessment tools to reflect their academic achievements; internship, research and other practical experiences; leadership accomplishments; and community service.

Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA)

The Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA) was established to promote and support student research, original scholarship and creative efforts in all disciplines. Through a number of programs, taking place at all points in a student’s career at Albion, FURSCA can help students pursue independent study in their areas of interest. Students work closely with a faculty mentor to develop and carry out research or other creative projects. Participation in such projects provides valuable experience beyond the scope of classroom work, and enhances a student’s preparedness for future employment or graduate studies. Some examples of FURSCA programs are listed below.

Student Research Partners Program—Geared toward first-year students, this program pairs a student with a faculty mentor to work on a project related to the faculty member’s research or creative area. Students gain hands-on experience with scholarship in a specific field, and may elect to continue during their sophomore year. Participation is selective, based on high academic achievement, and stipends are awarded.

Semester Research Grants—Students may apply for funds to support research or other creative projects. Students must work closely with a faculty adviser; however, projects are not limited to any particular discipline. Grants may be awarded to pay for supplies, printing costs, subject payments, software or other costs associated with completion of the project.

Conference Grants—Students are awarded travel funds to help cover expenses associated with travel to attend professional meetings at which they will present the results of their research or creative projects.

Summer Research Fellowships—A select number of students may remain on campus during the summer, earning a stipend, to work on research or creative projects. In addition to working closely with a faculty adviser, students participate in weekly seminars with other students in the program.

Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium—This annual symposium features student research and creative projects from the preceding year. Held each spring in conjunction with the Honors Convocation, this day-long event includes guest speakers and showcases the excellent creative work done by Albion College students.

For further information about FURSCA and its programs, see the FURSCA Web site, www.albion.edu/fursca, or contact the Director of FURSCA, or Starr Weaver, FURSCA coordinator.

Institutes, Programs and Centers

The Philadelphia Center

The Philadelphia Center is an Albion-sponsored program that provides an integrated internship and academic experience in an urban context. Students choose an internship in a school, institution, agency or community group related to their academic discipline. The course work consists of a city seminar and electives. Students live in apartments.- Fall or spring semester options or a summer session are available.

Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program

The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program is designed for students interested in challenges and opportunities that go beyond those offered by traditional lecture and laboratory courses. Through small discussion-based classes, field trips, retreats, guest lecturers, independent research and individualized faculty mentoring, the Program provides a stimulating variety of academic experiences for talented students. All Brown Honors Program graduates culminate their academic experience with an extensive research or creative project. Participation in the Program may be combined with any major and with any of Albion’s career preparation programs in law, medicine, public service, environmental science, or business management.

Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Honors Program appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Special Features—The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program Center is located in the historic Observatory building and contains a seminar room for Honors classes, the Honors Assistant Director’s office, as well as meeting, library, computing and study areas for Honors students and their guests. Finally, the Program provides Honors students with opportunities to attend popular cultural attractions, have special access to distinguished campus visitors, and to plan and run a variety of other social and intellectual activities through participation in the Honors Council.

Admission—Albion’s Brown Honors Program accepts applications from students who show superior academic promise. Recognizing there is no one criterion by which academic potential is measured, the Honors Committee annually selects a group of applicants whose high school records, scores on national tests, essays and personal interviews indicate exceptional promise. Currently enrolled Albion College students, as well as high school seniors, may apply for admission to the Program. Contact the Brown Honors Program Assistant Director at honors@albion.edu for more information.

Apply to the Brown Honors Program.

Institutes and Centers

Albion’s Institutes and Centers integrate theoretical and practical learning in distinctive and challenging ways. Intended for students who desire preprofessional preparation and academic work focused in a specialty area, the Institutes and Centers each have a specific curriculum and may include an internship, a capstone experience and opportunities for independent research. Successful completion of an Institute or Center’s program, which is noted on the student’s academic transcript, confers an advantage in gaining admission to graduate or professional school or in beginning a career.

Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service

The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service assures highly qualified students a broad liberal arts education with concentrated study in the areas of public policy and public service. Special emphasis is given to problem-solving, decision-making and leadership. The Institute carries out President Ford’s vision of training the next generation in the importance of public service in its myriad forms.

Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Ford Institute concentration appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog. The academic aspect of the Ford Institute allows students of any major to graduate with an understanding of how public policy is made and how it impacts all aspects of American society. The program requires students to complete a one-unit internship in public service.

Activities—Students participate in a range of academic and social activities designed both to expand their understanding of public service and to enhance their ties with others who share their interest in community engagement. Most notably, students complete a customized internship that enhances their job prospects and allows them to work in places as diverse as Washington, D.C., Europe, Africa or closer to home. Students also have opportunities to meet and interact with visitors to campus, including many who are world-renowned scholars, elected officials, researchers or business CEOs. Past visitors have included United States senators, ambassadors, governors and members of Congress, as well as civil rights leaders, famous scientists and business leaders. Students also are provided with opportunities to engage in community service projects with leading organizations in Albion, Detroit, throughout Michigan and around the world.

Admission—Students are admitted to the Ford Institute only after being admitted to Albion College. Admission to the Ford Institute is selective. Participants are selected based on their proven leadership, interest in public service, academic ability and previous involvement in political, community and school activities. All students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance and, once admitted, to continue their involvement in campus and community affairs and to become involved in Institute activities. Contact the Ford Institute director at fordinstitute@albion.edu for more information.

Apply to the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service.

Contact the director for more information.

Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management

The Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management encourages students to explore the practical and dynamic subject of business from many perspectives. The Institute offers a concentration with two sets of requirements: one for students pursuing majors from the Economics and Management department and the other for students pursuing any other major. This concentration recognizes that students with different majors begin with different backgrounds in the fundamentals of management. The course work is enhanced by developing critical thinking and leadership skills through other opportunities such as Gerstacker Institute speakers, networking with business executives and participation in the first-year workshop, sophomore summer school, internships and the senior capstone experience. The required internship, available in diverse work settings, allow students to experience various career paths and to put their education into practice.

Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the Gerstacker Institute appear under the Gerstacker Institute in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Activities—Members of the Gerstacker Institute participate in workshops aimed at building a professional portfolio, developing career search skills, and practicing proper business etiquette. In addition, the Institute regularly hosts speakers from a variety of fields who share their experiences with students, often one-on-one. Regular participation in these activities is a requirement for continued membership in the Institute.

Admission— Students must be admitted to the Gerstacker Institute to pursue this concentration. Visit the Gerstacker Institute website for information on the application process.

Students admitted to the Gerstacker Institute may be considered for scholarships which are separate from other aid awarded by Albion College. These scholarships may be renewable each year for up to four years, contingent on a continued high level of academic performance and significant participation in Institute activities.

Due to the limitations on space and the strong interest in the Institute, early application is advised.

Contact the Gerstacker Institute director at gerstacker@albion.edu for more information.

Apply to the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management.

Contact the director for more information.

Lisa and James Wilson Institute for Medicine

Albion College’s pre-health professions program has an excellent reputation for providing academic preparation for students wishing to enter healthcare professions, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, and public health. The Wilson Institute for Medicine supports and enriches the undergraduate education experience of healthcare students by providing academic and career advising, offering health-related courses, and sponsoring workshops, speakers, volunteer and internship opportunities, and a variety of special programs.

By introducing students to key issues in healthcare and focusing on students’ interpersonal competencies as well as their academic competencies, the Institute offers students their critical first steps toward becoming well-educated, compassionate medical professionals.

Academic Program—Students are required to complete the appropriate prerequisite courses for the professional school they plan to attend. Pre-health students can major in any field and are encouraged to explore the full range of liberal arts course offerings in subjects including anthropology, sociology, economics, art, art history, psychology, history, philosophy and many other fields. To graduate as Institute members in good standing, students need to complete Introduction and Issues in Healthcare, a documented experiential learning project, and community service as well as maintain a GPA of 3.0. To graduate with distinction, Institute members must assume a leadership role in the Institute, be eligible to join Alpha Epsilon Delta, the health preprofessional honor society, and achieve a GPA of 3.5.

Admission—Prospective members usually apply for admission to the Institute during the process of applying for admission to Albion College by completing four brief essays about their healthcare interests and experiences. However, students may also apply during their first year of studies or upon transfer to Albion College. Once admitted, students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance, to continue to explore the healthcare field, and to participate in Institute activities.

Contact the Wilson Institute for Medicine director at ihp@albion.edu for more information.

Apply to the Wilson Institute for Medicine.

Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development

The distinctive focus of the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development is to link the Albion College Teacher Education Program to the Albion Public Schools and other area schools in innovative and exemplary ways. This intentional engagement with area schools will enhance the preparation of Albion College’s prospective teachers and provide opportunities for a rich multicultural experience and a more meaningful involvement with policy issues.

With support from the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development, graduates of the Albion Teacher Education Program will become superior teachers—well-versed in their subject areas, highly skilled in developing knowledge with their students and dedicated to engaging their students in lifelong learning. Additionally, the Shurmur Center’s research and scholarship activities, such as the Shurmur Mentorship Practicum and public issues forums, create opportunities for prospective teachers to become knowledgeable about, and involved in, educational reform at the local, state and national levels.

Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for students in the Teacher Education Program appear under the Education Department in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Activities—In addition, the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development sponsors nationally known speakers for the student teaching capstone lecture, offers public roundtable discussions focused on topics related to education and public policy, and supports field trips to different educational settings to allow students to experience different models of educational practice in other regions of the country or the world. In conjunction with the Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching and Learning, students are encouraged to thoughtfully integrate the use of technology into their teaching and develop pilot projects, symposia and other structured study with academic technology.

Admission—Students with sophomore standing, who demonstrate both a strong intellect and an ethic of caring as well as successfully complete the two pre-admission courses (EDUC 202 , EDUC 203 ) and the application, are eligible for admission. Applications are reviewed by faculty and staff of the Education Department and the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development. Similarly qualified students may also be admitted after the second year. Students interested in the Teacher Education Program are advised to fill out an interest form in the Education Department Office in Olin Hall. Contact the coordinator of the Shurmur Center for more information.

Center for Sustainability and the Environment

The Center for Sustainability and the Environment encourages students to understand the environment and the human place in it by combining the intellectual tradition of the liberal arts with the practical experiences gained in internships and research projects. The Center’s majors and concentrations in environmental science and environmental studies and its major in sustainability studies allow students to explore environmental questions through participatory learning and research in preparation for graduate studies and/or careers in regulation, remediation, policy formulation, education and the law. The Center also sponsors internship opportunities, service projects, seminars and travel experiences designed to confirm the relationship between the liberal arts and environmental concerns.

Academic Program—The academic requirements and course descriptions for the majors and concentrations offered through the Center for Sustainability and the Environment appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Activities—The Center sponsors several other opportunities for student enrichment, including field trips, student research and service projects, a student farm and a seminar program. The Center offers an annual field trip to see important ecosystems within the United States, and human impacts on these systems. To support student research, the Center provides stipends for students who elect to spend the summer on campus working on independent research or service projects. The bi-weekly environmental seminar provides an opportunity for students to hear about other students’ research and internship experiences, recent graduates’ experiences in work and graduate school, faculty lectures on environmental topics, and senior professionals’ reflections on their careers. Albion is an affiliate member of the School for Field Studies, which offers environmental field studies in Australia, Buthan, Cambodia and Vietnam, Costa Rica, East Africa, Panama, Peru, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Admission—Students must apply for admission to the Center and the majors and concentrations that it sponsors. Normally this step is taken as part of the application process to the College, and most members are admitted as incoming students. Students may also apply during their first two years at the College. Contact the director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment at environment@albion.edu for more information.

Apply to the Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

Contact the director for more information.


A concentration is a program of study taken in addition to a major. The purpose of a concentration, which includes an internship, is to help a student explore specific career possibilities within the framework of a liberal arts education. Six to eight units are normally required for a concentration, including all course work and the internship.

Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

See Center for Sustainability and the Environment  under Programs of Study  section.

Human Services

See Human Services  under Programs of Study  section.

Management for the Professions Concentration

See Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management  under Programs of Study  section

Law, Justice, and Society

See Law, Justice, and Society  under Programs of Study  section


See Neuroscience  under Programs of Study  section.

Public Policy and Service

See Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service  under Programs of Study  section.

Other Internship Opportunities

Students may complete full-time internships ranging from working on a newspaper to serving as a pastoral care assistant in a hospital. Online internship postings, along with national directories, are maintained by the Career and Internship Center. Students should consult with the Career and Internship Center, and career development professionals will assist in exploring internship possibilities. Although a number of concentrations have required internship components, internships may be taken by students from all majors.

Students work under the joint supervision of a faculty member and a qualified professional in the field. Before registering for a specific internship, the student must have an appropriate faculty supervisor. See the Academic Regulations  and Off-Campus Study sections of the catalog for more details. Internships are offered on a credit/no credit basis only. Up to four units of internship credit may be counted in the total required units for graduation.

Preprofessional Health Programs and Internships

See also the Institute for Healthcare Professions

Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine

Albion College maintains a strong program for the preparation of students for admission to professional schools in medicine and dentistry. A premedical, pre-veterinary or pre-dental student may major in any discipline in which he or she has interest and ability. Most of our students choose to major in biology or chemistry, but any major may be pursued, as long as the basic science and other requirements of the health professions schools are met. Regardless of the major chosen, the premedical, pre-veterinary or pre-dental student should plan to take the following minimum required courses. All science courses require laboratory work.

Biology, one year (BIOL 195 , BIOL 210 ) *
Inorganic Chemistry, one year (CHEM 121 , CHEM 123 )
Organic Chemistry, one year (CHEM 211 , CHEM 212 )
Biochemistry, one semester (CHEM 337  or BIOL 337  )
Physics, one year (PHYS 115 , PHYS 116 )
Math, one semester (MATH 125: Precalculus  (Functions), MATH 141: Calculus of a Single Variable I , and/or MATH 209: An Introduction to Statistics )
English, one year (ENGL 101  or 203-composition and one English literature course)
Additional humanities and social science courses required by many professional schools

* Most professional schools also require at least one upper-level biology course. Be sure to consult with the Institute for Healthcare Professions about the prerequisite course work required for professional schools you are considering. All new members of the Institute are issued an Institute Advising Guide during Albion’s Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) program which includes detailed information about applying to professional school.

Allied Health Professions

Albion College maintains courses appropriate for preparing students for admission to programs in physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, and public health (please note this is not an exhaustive list). Unlike medical, dental, and veterinary schools, these programs are quite varied in their requirements. Be sure to consult with the Institute for Healthcare Professions about the prerequisite course work required for professional schools you are considering. All new members of the Institute are issued an Institute Advising Guide during Albion’s Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) program which includes detailed information about applying to professional school.

General Information

For many healthcare professional schools, prerequisite course work should be completed by the end of the junior year in preparation for taking the admissions test for professional schools unless you plan to take a transitional year between graduating from college and beginning your graduate training. Please note that healthcare students are expected to take courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences as well as the natural sciences. In planning their Albion course work, students should check the current admission requirements of specific professional schools in which they are interested.

Experiential learning is also very important. In addition to their regular courses, a number of preprofessional students take advantage of the undergraduate practicum/internship program offered by Albion College. All members of the Institute for Healthcare Professions are required to complete at least one 40-hour documented experiential learning project (DELP). All these programs allow students to gain firsthand experience in the hospital, clinic, or offices of a supervising physician, dentist, or other professional, and thus expand their understanding of the profession of their choice. Interested students should consult the staff of the Institute for Healthcare Professions for more information.

Students considering a healthcare profession should apply to the Institute as well as to Albion College. Beginning at SOAR and continuing throughout students’ college experience, the Institute staff works with students in long-range curriculum planning. The Institute also provides students with information and assistance while they are preparing for and applying to professional schools.

Combined Preprofessional Courses

Students planning professional careers are urged to complete a bachelor’s degree from Albion before entering a professional school. Albion has, however, established “combined course” arrangements with a number of accredited professional schools in career areas such as engineering, health sciences, natural resources and public policy. A student who has met both Albion’s requirements for the combined course program and those established by the particular professional school enters the professional school at the end of his or her junior year at Albion College. After the successful completion of the equivalent of 7.5 units, the student qualifies for a bachelor of arts degree from Albion. After completion of the professional program, the student qualifies for the professional degree from the other school or the opportunity to earn certification. Students may obtain information on approved combined course programs from the registrar.

Albion College Requirements for Combined Courses

In order to qualify for the combined course arrangements, the student must:

  • Complete at least 23 units of college credit, 15 units of which must be earned at Albion.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative average of 2.5.
  • Complete the core requirement, the writing proficiency requirement and a minimum of four units toward a major.
  • Make application in writing to the registrar for the combined course privilege. This application must be submitted during the junior year and receive the endorsement of the Academic Status and Petitions Committee. Application forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

In addition to the general requirements above, the student should make sure that the requirements for admission to the professional school of his/her choice have been met.

Dual-Degree Program in Engineering

Students in the dual-degree program in engineering typically spend three years at Albion and develop a strong background in science and mathematics, gaining this knowledge in a liberal arts-focused environment. They then transfer to an engineering school and usually complete an additional two years of study. (Albion has a formal arrangement with Columbia University and a longstanding relationship with the University of Michigan)

Students graduate with two degrees: a B.A. from Albion (typically in physics, or mathematics), and a B.S. degree in engineering from the transfer school.

Academic Program—The academic requirements for the dual-degree program in engineering appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Admission—Students in the dual-degree program in engineering have a strong background in mathematics and science, very good academic performance, and a desire to pursue the engineering profession. To be eligible for program admission, students must declare the dual-degree engineering major in either mathematics or physics, write a personal essay, complete a personal interview with the program director, and have at least a 2.5 overall GPA, as well as at least a 2.5 GPA in completed courses in the science division. Although these program admission requirements should normally be completed by the end of a student’s first year at Albion, late admission requests are considered by the Engineering Advisory Committee as needed.

Apply to the dual-degree program in engineering.

Contact the director for more information.

Health Sciences

Students may pursue combined course plans through accredited programs in dentistry, pharmacy and nursing. A number of professional schools offer dual-degree programs that can be arranged with permission of Albion’s registrar. See the Institute for Healthcare Professions section for more information.

Natural Resources Areas

Albion College maintains course arrangements with the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. A student in the 3-2 program, upon completing all requirements, will receive the bachelor of arts degree from Albion College and one of two master’s degrees from Duke University. The Duke University School of the Environment offers nine programs under two degrees. The forest resource management program is offered under the master of forestry degree. The other eight programs (coastal environmental management, conservation science and policy, environmental economics and policy, ecosystem science and management, energy and environment, environmental health and security, global environmental change, and water and air resources) are offered under the master of environmental management degree. Two certificate programs, energy and environment and geospatial analysis, can be pursued with any of these degree programs.

Off-Campus Study

Albion students may participate in a wide variety of off-campus study, study/internship, or study/research programs throughout the world and in the United States. These opportunities are designed to enhance a liberal arts education through developing interpersonal or cross-cultural skills, awareness of other cultures or an appreciation of the work environment.

Students in any major may choose to study off-campus. Some students study away for one semester; others select two different semester-long programs or spend an academic year abroad on one program. Finally, some students participate in summer programs. Please contact the Center for International Education (CIE), Vulgamore Hall 306, for more information.

Policies and Procedures

Eligibility Requirements

The requirements for study off-campus are as follows:

  • Albion Residency Requirement.  Students who have attended three semesters as a full-time student at Albion College, excluding summer term, and with a minimum of 11 Albion College earned units, are eligible to participate in an approved off-campus program through the Center for International Education or the Career and Internship Center.   Transfer students who have junior standing (14 – 20 earned units), are eligible to participate in an approved off-campus program through the Center for International Education or the Career and Internship Center after attending two semesters as a full-time student at Albion College, excluding summer term.

  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.7. Some programs require a level of preparation and a demonstrated proficiency well above a cumulative grade point average of 2.7. A student interested in a particular off-campus  program should confirm that he or she has the necessary qualifications either with the program adviser or the director of the CIE.

  • Demonstrated maturity commensurate with the demands of the off-campus program.

  • Successful completion of the Writing Proficiency Requirement before attending an off-campus program.

  • Good social standing (as determined by the Office of the Vice President for Student Development).

Meeting these minimum qualifications does not entitle a student to participate in the program.  Additional procedures are available on the Center for International Education website.

The Application Process

Application deadlines are October 1 for spring semester and March 1 for fall, academic year, and summer programs. In their sophomore year, students are encouraged to obtain information and consultation about off-campus programs from the Center for International Education (CIE), the Career and Internship Center (CIC) for domestic internship programs, and from academic advisers and faculty advisers to the individual programs. Students need to consider carefully how an off-campus program fits into their studies at Albion. All prospective off-campus study students must meet with the director of CIE (for international programs) or the staff of CIC (for domestic programs). After selecting the appropriate off-campus program, a student then begins the application process.

There are two applications, one for Albion College and one for the specific off-campus program. The Off-Campus Programs Advisory Committee, composed of administration and faculty representatives from each of the four divisions of the College, approves or denies permission for off-campus study. The CIE or CIC then communicates with the appropriate programs. An off-campus program may accept or deny a student’s application. However, in most cases, a student who is approved by Albion has been accepted by the off-campus program.

Once a student is accepted for off-campus study, he or she must complete post-admission requirements.  This includes, but is not limited to, attending two mandatory pre-departure orientations. 


Tuition for semester and year-long off-campus programs usually does not exceed what a student pays for regular tuition on campus. However, when costs exceed those of Albion College’s regular fees, students will be required to pay the difference.  Note: Fees for most summer programs are higher than Albion’s, and students will be charged the higher amount. Students are billed through Albion College and must have paid the amount in full prior to beginning the off-campus program. Other important items to note about costs for off-campus study include:

  • There is a one-time per program off-campus administrative fee that is added to the regular Albion fees. (Please go to the “Tuition and Fees” section for details.)

  • Costs for transportation to and from an off-campus study program are the responsibility of the student.

  • Financial aid applies to all semester and academic-year off-campus programs on the list of programs approved for Albion credit. This aid includes merit-based academic scholarships (75% of regular award amount) and need-based financial aid (100%). Please contact the Student Financial Services Office about your specific award package. (Note: Albion financial aid is not available for summer programs.)

  • Check the Off-Campus Programs Web site for information about additional aid for off-campus study, i.e., Albion College off-campus program grants, federal grants, and links to a study abroad scholarship search engine.

  • Deferred payment plans such as Academic Management Services are not available for off-campus programs.

Credit and Grades

  • Academic and internship credit for Albion College-approved off-campus programs will transfer back to the campus as if the student were on campus. Usually, the equivalent of 4.0 units of credit per semester and 8.0 units of credit per academic year will apply. However, some programs may have more or less credit.

  • Students may count up to two semesters and one summer session of off-campus study toward graduation. Off-campus units may not exceed 10.0 Albion units.

  • Students attending an Albion-approved program or a program approved on a one-time-only basis must attend the program as an Albion student to receive credit.

  • All off-campus courses will be taken for numerical grades, unless the student specifically requests, in writing, grades of credit/no credit.

  • All internships are graded credit/no credit.

  • Successful completion of an off-campus program abroad (or the Border Studies program) for at least one semester, along with successful completion of a journal requirement, fulfills the global studies category requirement.

  • Off-campus semesters are not considered when determining eligibility for the Dean’s List and/or Albion Fellows recognition.

  • Students may complete core requirements while attending an off-campus program only if they obtain written authorization in advance from the registrar.

  • For category requirements, the chair of the appropriate category committee must approve an off-campus program’s course for that category requirement. Students must petition the category committee for approval before attending the program.

  • Courses taken for a major or for teacher certification must be taken for a numerical grade unless written permission for a credit/no credit grade is obtained in advance from the department chair.

  • Participating in an off-campus program during the last semester of the senior year may delay graduation.


Students who fail to follow College procedures regarding off-campus study, or who withdraw or take a leave of absence from Albion and thus circumvent existing College regulations regarding off-campus study, will not receive credit for course work done off-campus.

Albion College will not endorse a program or offer credit for courses or programs that are located in areas under a travel warning by the United States Department of State. Exceptions to this may be granted by the College president on the recommendation of the provost and director of the Center for International Education.


Albion College will not endorse a program or offer credit for courses or programs that are located in areas under a travel warning by the United States Department of State. Exceptions to this may be granted by the College president on the recommendation of the provost and director of the Center for International Education.


There is a reentry orientation session for students returning to Albion from off-campus programs. The CIE and faculty work with returning students to help them integrate the knowledge and skills gained during their experience into their campus academic program.

Once the returning student has finished all the necessary course work on the off-campus program and completed the post-program evaluation/assessment forms, credit from the program is transferred to the student’s Albion College record. With proper planning, a student should not lose any time toward graduation.

Center for International Education (CIE)

The mission of the Center for International Education is to promote intercultural communication and exchange, cross-cultural understanding, and transnational competence between the people of Albion College and the global community. The CIE coordinates more than 100 off-campus study, research and academic internship programs in about 40 countries plus the U.S. 

Albion-approved study abroad programs are available in Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, the Carribean, the Middle East, and Australia/ Pacific Islands.  To see a full list of off-campus programs approved for Albion credit, suggested by major, visit the Off-Campus Programs website.  

The Center for International Education provides a variety of individual advising options for students who wish to study abroad.  These sessions include program selection, choosing off-campus classes that meet the student’s academic needs, estimating study abroad costs and creating budgets, providing travel know-how, and assisting with general visa advising.  Students may set up an advising appointment by visiting the Center for International Education website. 

Summer College

Albion Summer College offers undergraduate courses taught by members of the Albion College faculty. As during Albion’s regular school year, the program features personal attention, small classes and modern educational facilities—but at less cost.

Albion Summer College offers opportunities to currently enrolled Albion College students to accelerate academic programs, to relax a tight course schedule, or to raise grade point averages. Guest students from other colleges are welcome.

All academic policies are enforced during summer school.

Questions concerning the Albion Summer College should be addressed to: Registrar’s Office, Albion College, Albion, Michigan 49224.

Library Services

The Stockwell-Mudd Libraries make available to students and faculty more than 425,000 print books and non-print items, more than 100,000 digital books, over 20,000 electronic and print journal subscriptions, and full text articles from more than 53,000 journals through the library’s many online databases. The library is open 111 hours a week. Research assistance is available at the Information Desk 53 hours a week, and librarians also provide help through e-mail, text messaging, chat, Twitter and Facebook.

Albion College librarians have developed a strong program of library instruction to meet the needs of students and faculty and to support the College’s liberal arts curriculum. The instruction program emphasizes information literacy and promotes critical thinking and lifelong learning. The staff offers instruction services that include general library orientation sessions, course-specific and assignment-specific library instruction, and instruction on using specific research tools and the critical evaluation of sources. Librarians work closely with faculty to be certain that the reference sources, research strategies and evaluation methods that are presented address the specific information and research needs of the students in their classes.

Librarians are committed to exploring current and emerging technologies and how they may best be used by our academic community. In addition to books and journals in multiple formats, the library provides access to a wide range of the devices students need to access information and create knowledge—desktop computers, laptops, and various tablet computers and e-readers. We’re also committed to making information discovery more effective through LibrarySearch, a service that allows patrons to search nearly all library resources with a single search.

The book collections are distributed between two buildings connected by an enclosed walkway: Stockwell Memorial Library (1938) and Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center (1980). The Cutler Commons, located in the Stockwell building, provides interactive study spaces; a one-stop services area for circulation, research help, and assistance with technology; and a café. The Stockwell building also houses back issues of periodicals and the Wendell Will Room.

The Mudd building houses the current periodicals collection, extensive collections of U.S. government documents, the Madelon Stockwell Turner Memorial Room, the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA), and the Academic Skills Center. The Special Collections Department is also located in the Mudd Building, and contains the College’s archives, the Rare Books Collection, and the archives of the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. These are closed stacks, but access to these collections is available by appointment.

The library website provides instant access to the library catalog, numerous online databases and full-text resources, journal holdings, and research assistance.

The book collections are extensive and provide support across the curriculum. A large collection of classic and popular movies is also available. The library is a participant in the Michigan Electronic Library (MeLCat), an online system that enables Albion students and faculty to directly borrow materials from other participating Michigan libraries. In addition, the library’s interlibrary loan service provides students, faculty and staff with materials not available locally.

The library contains a variety of areas for study—classrooms, seminar rooms for groups, carrels for individual study, and comfortable group spaces with movable furniture. The Friends of the Library sponsor a variety of displays and programs, including readings and lectures. These programs offer a public forum for authors reading from their works and for speakers making presentations on a variety of topics.

Information Technology

Albion College has been recognized as a leader in providing technology resources and support to students, faculty and staff. The Information Technology staff provides superior technical skills and customer service to the campus community.

Powering Albion College’s high-speed network is a fiber optic dual-Gigabit Ethernet backbone that extends to every residence hall room, public lab, faculty office and classroom. In addition, the College has a wireless network with significant campus coverage. These networks are connected to the Internet via a fractional T3 line. Windows-based computers are the campus standard, although other types of workstations are used for specific applications. All students, faculty and staff members are automatically provided network accounts that allow them access to e-mail, file and World Wide Web page storage. Graduating students are provided with a lifetime e-mail account. As part of campus agreements, students receive updated Microsoft Office Suite and anti-virus software. Technical assistance can be obtained from the Help Desk, or from student technology assistants in the evening hours in the library.

Public computer facilities are available in Olin Hall and Putnam Hall, and an advanced technology computer lab in the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building is equipped with digital imaging, digital video and wireless capabilities. Dell and Macintosh laptops are available for signout in the Stockwell-Mudd Libraries and in Information Technology in the Ferguson Building. Specialized computing facilities dedicated to particular departments, residence hall computer labs and technology-enhanced classrooms, are located throughout the campus. In addition to classrooms with installed computers and projection, portable media systems supporting classroom instruction are also available in a number of campus locations.

The Instructional Technology department provides support for faculty, staff and students in their use of technology to enhance teaching, learning and research. The department supports a media development lab for those requiring assistance with digital imaging and digital video editing projects, and loaner equipment such as laptop computers, projectors and digital cameras. Online training is available throughout the year to introduce the computer and network systems, Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, graphics, Web use, and to provide advanced information on specific topics.

Administrative computing systems run on Ellucian’s Banner, based on the Oracle database system. Most of the College’s business applications are run in the Banner system, including registration and student records, finance, financial aid, human resources and institutional advancement. In addition, Web interfaces to Banner are provided for students, faculty and staff.

Information Technology is committed to providing appropriate technology resources and support to meet student, faculty and staff needs. Detailed information on services is available at www.albion.edu/it.

Academic Skills Center

The Academic Skills Center (ASC), located in the Mudd Learning Center, provides students with a wide range of support for learning inside and outside the classroom in all academic areas. Students can get assistance with learning strategies, quantitative study, and writing in one of the ASC’s three centers. In addition, study tables offer scheduled times for drop-in help with many introductory courses, and peer tutors can be requested in most academic areas. See the ASC website (www.albion.edu/asc/) for current information on study tables, to submit requests for peer tutors and to request a study strategy appointment with ASC staff. All services of the Academic Skills Center are free to Albion College students.

Quantitative Studies Center

The Quantitative Studies Center provides support for students in all disciplines. Frequently addressed issues include applications of mathematics, logic or statistics in various courses and specific strategies for approaching college-level mathematics courses. The resources of the Center include a collection of mathematics texts that students may check out and a set of computerized self-paced tutorials in algebra and trigonometry that students may use at their convenience. Students can receive help on a drop-in basis, and those desiring long-term one-on-one tutoring in math can be paired with trained student tutors. In addition to these services, the Quantitative Studies Center sponsors a series of workshops. Recent workshops have included such topics as using graphing calculators, solving story problems, overview of important calculus concepts, and preparing for graduate school entrance or teacher certification examinations.

Writing Center

The Writing Center supports every writer at Albion College: our goal is to support students as they work to become better at their craft, from the novice to the already experienced writer. Peer consultants at the Writing Center support writers by responding to thinking and writing in process. Writing consultants work one-on-one with student writers to discuss and brainstorm ideas, develop writing plans that meet assignment goals, troubleshoot research or citation questions, and review rough draft writing at any stage. Consultants welcome and work with students and student writing from across the campus, in a variety of academic disciplines, as well as assisting students with other kinds of academic or professional writing (e.g., cover letters for internships, resumes for job applications, personal statements for scholarships or graduate school).

Learning Support Center

Learning Support Center

Learning Support Center staff meet with students who want to improve and adopt effective academic strategies. Common student goals include managing time, mastering procrastination, preparing for exams, and planning ahead. First-year students often seek assistance from the center to bring their study skills up to college level; later these students may continue to utilize the center to “fine-tune” their skills for meeting the demands of upper-level courses. Students may request appointments at any time of the semester.

Disability Services and Accommodations

The Learning Support Center (LSC) coordinates services and accommodations for students with disabilities. These services are provided in accordance with the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and are intended to remove barriers to participation in the college environment. Sources and forms of documentation for substantiating a student’s disability can take a variety of forms, including a student’s self-report, the observation and interaction with staff of the LSC and information from outside sources. Decisions regarding appropriate accommodations are made through an individual review between the head of the LSC and the student. Reasonable accommodations and services commonly requested include extra time on examinations, distraction-free test locations and classroom note-takers. Course modifications or auxiliary aids that constitute a fundamental alteration of a course or program of study are not extended through the ADA.

Career and Internship Center

The mission of the Career and Internship Center is to guide and inspire Albion College students to be actively involved in their personal and career development throughout their academic and professional career. The office creates a supportive career-readiness community of faculty, parents and advisers that equips students to lead lives with purpose and value.

The Career and Internship Center staff provides comprehensive services designed to assist students in exploring and attaining their professional career goals including self-assessment instruments, individual and group career counseling, a career and life planning course, career development programming, job and internship resources, and on-campus recruiting. Events include: Career Visions trips to network with professionals and alumni, career fair trips, interview fair trips, visits to employers, workshops, presentations, and employer presentations.

Co-Curricular Programs

Albion College offers opportunities for students with interests in everything from computers to art—opportunities offered both inside and outside of the classroom.

Anna Howard Shaw Women’s Center—See the Student Life  section of this catalog for more information.

Print and Electronic Media—Students interested in writing, editing, layout and broadcasting may wish to take advantage of several campus opportunities. Students interested in journalism may work for The Pleiad, an online campus news source, or The Albionian, the yearbook. The campus literary journal is The Albion Review, which publishes poetry, prose and artwork by students, faculty and campus visitors; it is edited entirely by students. The campus radio station, WLBN, broadcasts on a closed-circuit system as well as the Internet and is operated by students who serve as D.J.s, news and sports announcers, special reporters/interviewers, and station directors. All students enrolled at Albion College may audition.

Art Exhibits—The Art and Art History Department  sponsors a series of art exhibits in the galleries of the Bobbitt Visual Arts Center that feature the work of nationally-known artists, art department faculty, alumni and art students. In addition, the College maintains a collection of prints, ceramics, glass, paintings and other art objects that are regularly displayed.

Music—Albion’s Music Department  offers diverse opportunities for performance and private study. The Concert Choir, Briton Singers, Symphony Orchestra, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and chamber ensembles are open by audition to all students. Private lessons in voice, piano, organ, guitar and all orchestral and band instruments are available to all students. Off-campus study and internships offer outstanding opportunities in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and abroad for students pursuing professional careers in music and related fields.

Theatre—Four major plays and several studio productions are staged each year. These are produced by the Theatre Department  and the Albion College Players. All Albion students are invited to become involved in theatre activities. Under certain circumstances it is possible for students to receive credit for their participation.

Internships with professional theatre groups and the broadcast media are possible in New York and Philadelphia, and Albion’s other off-campus programs in the U.S. and abroad can provide new and different perspectives in the theatre.

Academic Honors and Activities

Albion encourages students to expand their experience both inside and outside of the classroom. A wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities provide recreational and educational opportunities for all students. These include honor societies, honorary organizations, departmental clubs, off-campus study, interdisciplinary courses, performing arts, and more. In addition, Albion provides a complete intramural and varsity athletic program which is described in the Student Life  section of this catalog.

Academic Honors

Dean’s Honor List—Those full-time students whose grade point average is 3.5 or above at the completion of a semester are named to the Dean’s List issued at the close of each semester. To qualify, students must take at least three units in graded courses and successfully complete four units. All course work must be completed on the Albion College campus.

Graduation Recognition—Three grades of recognition are conferred at graduation. For students graduating in 2006 and after, cum laude is granted to those who have a grade point average of 3.50 to 3.74; magna cum laude is granted to those who have a grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89; and summa cum laude is granted to those who have a grade point average of 3.90 or above. Grade point averages are not rounded. A student must complete at least three semesters of study at Albion College to be considered for graduation recognition.

Albion College Honors—To graduate “with Albion College honors,” a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5, have completed all four Great Issues honors seminars, and have completed an acceptable honors thesis and submitted it to the Honors Committee by the required deadline.

Thesis Honors—Qualified students not graduating with Albion College honors may also present papers to be submitted for thesis honors. Normally, such students will have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. A student whose thesis is accepted will graduate “with honors.” Each thesis must be approved by a committee comprising at least three faculty members, and the committee as a whole must be approved by the director of the Brown Honors Program. Details on the types of theses that may qualify for honors appear in the Academic Regulations  section of this catalog.

Honor Societies

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest of the national honorary societies, founded in 1776. The Beta chapter of Michigan was established at Albion in 1940. Members are usually seniors in the top 10 percent of their graduating class who meet the chapter’s liberal studies and residency requirements.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, was founded in 1866 as an honor society for scientists and engineers. The Albion chapter, started in 1959, includes faculty and students who are involved in scientific research. Students who have done research at Albion or in an approved off-campus program and who anticipate a career in science are eligible for nomination as associate members.

Albion College Fellows have attained a 3.7 average for three successive semesters on campus. They must also take at least three units in graded courses and successfully complete four units each semester. Participation in an approved off-campus program does not prevent students from qualifying at the end of the semester after they return.

Mortar Board, a national honorary, was established at Albion in 1941 to honor women who have been outstanding in scholarship, leadership and service. In 1976 the Albion chapter voted to make its membership coeducational.

Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honorary, was established at Albion in 1942 to honor juniors and seniors who have actively contributed to campus life and scholarship.

Alpha Lambda Delta, national freshman scholastic honorary, recognizes students who have received a 3.5 average at the end of their first semester and are in the top 20 percent of their class, based on at least three units of graded courses per semester. Alpha Lambda Delta was established at Albion in 1940.

Departmental Honoraries and Clubs

Many academic departments of the College sponsor honoraries in recognition of high scholarship. Minimum requirements for membership in these honoraries usually include: a departmental grade average of 3.0; an all-College grade average of 2.5; a major or minor in the respective department; and sophomore standing, although second semester freshmen are eligible in very unusual cases. The departments and their respective organizations include:

Biology—Beta Beta Beta (national)
Chemistry—Fall Chemistry Club
Economics—Omicron Delta Epsilon (national)
English—Joseph J. Irwin Honorary Society
Geology—Sigma Gamma Epsilon (national)
History—Phi Alpha Theta (national)
Mathematics—Kappa Mu Epsilon (national)
Music—Pi Kappa Lambda (national)
Physics—Sigma Pi Sigma (national)
Political Science—Pi Sigma Alpha (national)
Psychology—Psi Chi (national)
Public Policy—Pi Sigma Sigma (national)
Sociology—Alpha Kappa Delta (national)

Many departments also have their own clubs designed to encourage interest and to supplement the work in the classroom.

Departmental awards are given on a broad range of criteria to students in the form of prizes, honors and other distinctions. Students are urged to familiarize themselves with the awards by contacting the respective departmental chair.

Scholarships and Fellowships for International Study

The national scholarships and fellowships listed below assist students who wish to study and/or conduct research abroad. Because the selection process for these awards is highly competitive, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the campus advisers for these programs during the application process.

Freeman-ASIA—The primary goal of the Freeman-ASIA Program is to increase the number of U.S. undergraduates who study in East and Southeast Asia by providing students with the information and financial assistance they will need. Awardees are expected to share their experiences with their home campus to encourage study abroad by others and to spread understanding of Asia in their home communities. For more information, see http://www.iie.org.

Fulbright Grants—Congress created the Fulbright program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Each year, the Fulbright program enables U.S. students, artists and other professionals to study or conduct research in more than 100 nations. The program offers Fulbright full grants, Fulbright travel grants, foreign and private grants and teaching opportunities. Brochures, application forms and information are available from the Center for International Education or the Fulbright campus adviser, Dale Kennedy, director of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program. The campus application deadline is Oct. 1. For more information, see http://www.iie.org/.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)—The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a publicly-funded independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany. Each year DAAD, its Regional Branch Offices, its Information Centers and DAAD professors around the globe provide information and financial support to over 67,000 highly-qualified students and faculty for international research and study. Located in New York, San Francisco and Toronto, DAAD North America advises students, faculty and current DAAD fellows in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, contact Perry Myers, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, or see http://www.daad.org/.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program—The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program reduces barriers to study abroad by providing assistance to those undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need. This program offers a competition for awards for study abroad, for U.S. citizens who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding. Pell recipients planning to study abroad should also apply for a Gilman Scholarship. This congressionally funded program is offered through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education. Selected by competition, recipients are awarded up to $5,000 to defray the costs associated with studying abroad. For more information, see http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program.

British Marshall Scholarships—Established by an act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the ideals of the European Recovery Programme (the Marshall Plan), the British Marshall scholarships are intended to enable “intellectually distinguished young Americans to study in the United Kingdom and thereby to gain an understanding and appreciation of the British way of life.” Applications must be submitted on prescribed forms available by mid-May from the Office of International Education. The campus application deadline is Oct. 1. For more information, see http://www.marshallscholarship.org/.

NSEP Scholarships—Established by the National Security Education Act of 1991, NSEP scholarships aim to provide U.S. undergraduate students with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire expertise in languages, cultures and countries less commonly taught in the United States. NSEP scholarships can be applied for study in all countries except Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Applications can be obtained from the Office of International Education or the NSEP campus adviser. The campus application deadline is Dec. 1. For more information, see www.borenawards.org.

Rhodes Scholarship—The Rhodes scholarship provides for study at Oxford University and is one of the most competitive awards available. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding intellectual and academic achievement, but they must also be able to show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead and the energy to use their talents to the fullest. Forms and information are available from the Office of International Education. The campus application deadline is Oct. 1. For more information, see http://www.rhodesscholar.org.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships—The primary purpose of this program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries. Scholarship applications need to be made more than a year in advance of the planned study abroad program experience. Rotary awards provide for all expenses of most semester and year-long study-abroad programs. For more information, see http://www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/EducationalPrograms/AmbassadorialScholarships/Pages/ridefault.aspx.

Information on other study-abroad scholarships may be obtained in the Center for International Education.

Scholarships and Fellowships for Study in the United States

The scholarships and fellowships listed below are awarded nationally to undergraduate students who wish to continue their studies in the areas specified by the respective program. Because the selection process for these awards is highly competitive, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the campus advisers for these programs during the application process.

Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship Program—The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides scholarships to college seniors or recent college graduates of high need to enable them to attend graduate or professional schools. Approximately 65 of these scholarships are awarded annually. In order to apply, you must be nominated by our campus representative, the associate provost. For more information, see http://www.jkcf.org/scholarships

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship—The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program “was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman.” The purpose of the foundation is to develop highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. For more information, contact the Goldwater campus representative, Vanessa McCaffrey, Department of Chemistry, or see http://www.act.org/goldwater.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships—The program recognizes and supports graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. “NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering.” For more information, go to: http://www.nsfgradfellows.org/.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program—Outstanding students who are interested in pursuing a foreign service career with the U.S. Department of State may apply for a Pickering fellowship during their sophomore year. The fellowship award includes tuition, room, board and mandatory fees during the junior and senior years of college and during the first year of graduate study with reimbursement for books and round trip travel. The fellow must commit to pursuing a graduate degree in international studies at one of the graduate schools identified by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Fellows meet annually in Washington, D.C., for a program orientation. Only U.S. citizens will be considered for the Pickering fellowships. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply. For more information, see http://www.woodrow.org/fellowships/index.php.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship—These awards go to college juniors with “exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service… .” Approximately 80 awards are given annually for support in graduate school. For more information, go to http://www.truman.gov.

Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship—These highly competitive scholarships are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment or who are Native American or Alaska Native and have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or health care. Interested students should prepare to apply at least a year in advance of the application deadline. Forms and information are available from the Udall campus representative, Timothy Lincoln, Department of Geological Sciences. For more information, see http://www.udall.gov/OurPrograms/MKUScholarship/MKUScholarship.aspx.